fall pet safetyWith its crisp air, cool breezes, and colorful leaves, people and pets alike can find much to love about fall. While we may be enjoying the changing season, it’s important to keep in mind the many dangers that autumn can present to our furry friends. Household toxins, cooling temperatures, and an approaching holiday season aren’t without their risks, making fall pet safety an important consideration for pet owners everywhere.

Fall Pet Safety at Home

As the weather cools, a variety of hazardous substances are pulled out for use in the home and garage. The following pose a serious risk of injury or death to pets:

  • Antifreeze – Dogs and cats are drawn to the sweet smell of antifreeze, but the main ingredient, ethylene glycol, is highly toxic to pets. Keep antifreeze out of reach, clean up any spills immediately, and consider switching to a pet-safe version.
  • Rodenticides – Mice, rats, and other rodents make a mad dash for our homes and garages when the weather cools, leading many homeowners to reach for rodenticides, which are extremely toxic to pets if ingested. Find alternative ways to deter rodents from your home, such as plugging holes and storing food in sealed containers.
  • School supplies – Backpacks and lunchboxes often contain a host of irresistible and dangerous items to pets. People food, such as chocolate and Xylitol-based products, human medications, and school supplies such as glue sticks and markers, can cause poisoning or intestinal blockages if ingested. Keep all backpacks, coats, and lunchboxes hung up or put away where pets can’t get at them.

Outdoor Issues

Shorter days mean less visibility overall, especially if you’re fond of the early morning or evening walk with your pet. Make sure your pet is wearing a reflective or blinking collar so that motorists, cyclists, other dog walkers, and even wildlife can see him or her. Remember to bring pets indoors before nightfall, as temperatures can drop rapidly once the sun goes down.

Mushrooms and other potentially toxic plants are in abundance this time of year. Pay close attention to your pet while outside or on walks. If you know or suspect that he or she has ingested something potentially poisonous, give us a call right away.

Spooky Season

Halloween is a wonderfully fun time for people but can be downright spooky for the four-legged kind. Keep your pet safe and stress-free with the following tips:

  • Keep pets indoors in the days surrounding Halloween, especially at night.
  • Find a safe and secure spot for pets in an interior room of the home during trick-or-treating. This will minimize stress (from doorbells and people in costume) and prevent escape attempts.
  • Keep chocolate, candy, and other treats well out of reach.
  • If you choose to dress your pet up, make the sure the costume fits properly, is comfortable, and contains no small parts, strings, or ribbons that could pose a choking or strangulation risk.
  • Holiday decorations can be fascinating to pets but should be kept out of reach due to concerns over toxicity, intestinal blockages, and choking hazards.

Fall pet safety is a priority for us here at Millbrae Pet Hospital! We’re more than happy to answer any safety questions you may have and to provide further assistance when it comes to keeping your pet protected.